Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014


 art by Tony Mark

is  the vulture

Nanou Coul & Salia Sanogo-Douga koro

Mah Kouyaté Nº2 & Madou Camara -Douga

for the many transformations of the song you may  read here

for the many transformations of the vultures look around you

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baaba Maal Samba Diabaré Samb

 Baaba Maal  and  Samba Diabaré Samb
  till we meet again.....


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mamar Kassey

In 1976 Yacouba Moumouni was a 10-year-old shepherd living on the fringe of the Sahara desert in Niger.
Moumouni's father had died, leaving his older brother in charge of the family and the flock.
The young Moumouni fought often with his brother,
so he left home for the capital of Niamey, 125 miles away. On foot. alone. 
The rest is history, or at least it is in Niger. Moumouni spent two homeless years on Niamey's streets before taken in as the singer's Absatou Danté apprentice.

He learned the seyse, the flute of the Peul, and after seven years of training,
joined the Ballet National du Niger.
In 1990, he became one of the singers of Orchestre Takeda, the house orchestra
of the newly opened musical academy Centre de formation et de promotion musicale in Niamey.
At the CFPM, he met Abdoulaye Alassane,guitarist, and band leader of Super Kassey and  Orchestre Takeda.
They formed together in 1995 Mamar Kassey named after a legendary warrior who extended the Songhai Empire into the Sahara..
and soon became the most popular musical group to emerge from that dry west African country...

 Mamar Kassey Live 
 unknown date and place ,probably early zero's

+ bonus track from their latest Taboussizé-Niger


Thursday, July 3, 2014

songs from the kingdom of N’Gabu

The Kaabu Empire (also spelt N’Gabu / Gabu) started as a westward extension of the Manding Empire. Its rulers were ordained into office by the king of Mali (Manding) but as Mali declined during the 15th century the Kaabu became autonomous. Among the western Mandinka who inhabit Senegambia, Kaabu was second only to Manding in importance and its ruling dynasty, who bore the title of Nyanchos, were better known, more respected and more jealous of their heritage than any other of the Western Mandinka dynasties. ......continue to an essential history lesson

next  a  request
songs from the past to the future

Monday, June 23, 2014


Now that my heart has been at 
peace for so long, 
Why do you reawaken our love 
This is sinful of you; leave my heart 
at peace, undisturbed. 
When we were still close, had you 
rejected me, 
It would then have been easy for 
us to be reconciled, 
But the span of time made my 
heart deprived, 
Inured to suffering for want of you. 
Now It is as though your heart 
is longing, 
Feeling the pain In my heart for you 
You will flame the fire of anticipation, 
Which you extinguished before by 
your own hand. 
If I could forget the past 
And If I could bear the price of 
recapturing time, 
I would discover another lifetime 
to relive the past. 
When we are together, you are 
accusing and I accepting 
It is hard for me to speak as if our 
love is past. 
Since It exists as it was, and now 
even more strongly 
I remind you of the nights past. 
Describing and imagining how 
heavenly they were. 
You are the joy and ecstasy, 
And you are the pain and agony, 
And what is love, except these all? 
As time passes by, year after year, 
Your love is ever young. 
I could forget the past joys which 
have scarred my heart. 
I will be awake nights whirling over 
memories of our past. 
I would that I could forget the past 
And its pain which left its burn in 
my tear
If this is memory, tears will 
stream down 
From the overwhelming joy of 
your memory, 
You to whom I have devoted my life, 
Yearning for your devotion In return, 
You are the joy and ecstasy, 
And you are the pain and agony, 
And what IS love, except these all? 
As time passes by, year after year, 
Your love is ever young, 
Oh, you That your love lives in 
my heart. 
Within the shadow of unity 
You are Imagination; you are 
the spirit; 
You are the companion of 
all wishes, 
Time will come and go, and you 
remain the eternal love, 
How can I say how It was in 
the past? 
In the past. tomorrow was In 
the future, 
And the present will pass before 
we notice it. 
When I am with you in a trance In 
your sea of love, 
I do not notice what is passing from 
my life 
Whether you accept or reject me, 
You alone will be In my mind 
As the one I shall always love, 
As I have loved In the past 
You are the joy and ecstasy, 
And you are the pain and agony, 
And what is love, except these all? 
As time passes by, year after year, 
Your love is ever young

Ahmed Rami poetry
Riadh As'soombati music

no,I didn't abandon this blog
how could I?
Just another eclipse.....

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sina Sinayoko

Originaire de Bankounmana, un village proche du fleuve Niger
Sina Sinayoko, avec son album titré Boula,
traduit l’art musical des chasseurs malinkés avec le donso simbi 

the instruments
Abdoulaye Diabaté- bolon
Djeli Moussa Kouyaté- guitar
Souleymane Doumbouyha - percussion

the voices
Sina Sinayoko - vocals
Diarra Keita
Maimouna Keita
Salimata Keita - backing vocals

a true work of love produced by Salif Keita
recorded at his Wanda  studio in Bamako
with his 3 sisters as vocalists
Boula is a  wonderful record and the only one  from this great storyteller

the  tracks that i  like most among all the  jewels 

not posting the whole record 
as.  its worth (and I guess it will be relatively easy) to find  a physical copy out there

Saturday, May 31, 2014


This song speaks of  the great men , the brave men who made useful things in
this world before they die.
We dedicate it to the fallen heroes who lie in front  . Many brave men rest in  Nyaréla .
Young girls, small children, the children who fought for  the liberation of our homeland lie in Nyaréla .
 The world is sick, it became a fresh onion without seeds.
We have to be united , this union  ensures the smooth running of things.
Talking is difficult, not  talking is difficult , keeping silent is not good , mouth is a source of trouble. . Speech is learned but  it doesn't  force you .In the past, there were kings able to plant a needle , to pray in its shadow or to steal  the saddle of a horse. These kings always exist  but their reign is over. The times of the  generous kings are over.Today there are more enemies except the  rogues.These rascals say that we, the djéli , disturb . In the name of Allah, when we disturb someone, he becomes famous.
The Stories of the sons of Bambara are becoming   more and more  rare.
 less.and less ,those  interested in them
Death is a reality and  resurrection is a lie , however, it does not destroy hope.

* Niarela is a district with a well known cemetery  in Bamako

with Mah Damba : chant.
 Mamaye Kouyaté : ngoni, djembé.
Sidi Modibo Kouyaté : ngoni. Makhan Tounkara : guitare, ngoni. Marna Sissoko : guitare, tamani.
Djeli Madi Kouyaté : balafon. Djoké Sissoko : flé, flûte bambara.
 Djeli Sékou Kouyaté, Assa Sissoko, Mamani Keita, Niama Tounkara, Sadyou Damba : choeurs.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dance of the fishermen

celebrating the annual  collective fishing 

Dimba Tamboura, Hamadou Guindo, Hamadou Tienta  & Naouma Danbélé

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ndèye Marie Ndiaye Gawlo

in memory of a great  Voice from Senegal

Née en 1962, Ndèye Marie Ndiaye Gawlo qui fêtait donc ses 49 ans cette année, est griotte de par son
père et sa mère. Aussi, comme tous les Gawlo (Géwël), elle a commencé naturellement à chanter dès son plus jeune âge, il y a plus d’une trentaine d’années. Sa voix grave, profonde, avec un timbre et une intonation qu’elle maîtrisait parfaitement, était sa marque car, à travers elle, elle attirait l’attention. En effet, sa voix ne laissait personne indifférent, tout comme d’ailleurs ses chansons. Elle avait en effet une parfaite connaissance des textes traditionnels, et savait les inscrire dans leurs contextes, tout comme elle maîtrisait l’histoire. En somme, elle était une diva, une voix assurée de la musique sénégalaise, au sens propre du terme.
Ayant démarré sa carrière par la musique traditionnelle, comme le font les griots en chantant notamment dans les cérémonies familiales, elle a, au fur et à mesure, allié la modernité et la traditionnelle. Une modernité incarnée par ses prestations aux côtés de grands artistes sénégalais pour qui elle a assuré les chœurs. Parce que nombre d’entre eux la considéraient comme l’une des meilleures voix du pays.
Sa collaboration avec Youssou Ndour qu’elle a accompagné à travers ses tournées partout à travers le monde, à Bercy, à Londres, très remarquée par le public anglais que la «Gawlo» a conquis au point que les journalistes en étaient réduits à demander au lead vocal du Super Etoile qui était cette femme, en est la preuve la plus éloquente. Viviane Ndour, Salam Diallo dans «Goana», Fatou Geweul, Thione Seck, Coumba Gawlo Seck, entre autres, ont eu à recourir à ses services.
Mais en marge de cette carrière de choriste, Marie Ndiaye Gawlo poursuivait une carrière solo. Cette grande cantatrice a d’ailleurs connu quelques succès avec son premier tube «Teranga» dans les années 90. Un album produit par Youssou Ndour qui était aussi présent dans le clip qui a été très apprécié par le public.
«Goudi amna borom», une autre de ces chansons, traditionnelle celle-là, a aussi été un titre à succès dans les années 90, bien que le clip vidéo soit resté pratiquement inconnu du public. Le dernier et non moins célèbre titre de la diva, «Alal», sorti il y a moins de 5 ans, où elle éveille les populations sur le danger qu’est l’argent, a également fait un carton. Très attachée à la famille de Youssou Ndour, elle chantait tout le temps leurs louanges. La musique sénégalaise a donc perdu une voix irremplaçable.

par Oumou Sidya DRAME

Beeta Felaa
thanks to ngoni 

Alal as extra 

thanks to Seutou Damel for the video

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Air Afrique

rumba,boogaloo and rock & roll was the sound 
of the young (rich & proud)  independent West Africa
that was flying exclusively with Air Afrique of course

Orchestre Baobab + Kante Manfila

Africa (Mon Afrique)-Air Afrique

Saturday, April 26, 2014


  combined next 2 songs and an opportunity to present these [fabulous] photographs

Moussa N'gom  + Lakale Posse & Doudou 



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fama Denke / Kana Kassi

I makun de, faama denkè i kana kasi de, jara denkè
A-a-a-a-la-amè le A-a-a-ala-a-mè le
I kana kasi de, faamakè denkè i makun de, jara denkè
A ye n fale fè, foroba sanu a ye n fale fè
A ye n fa le fè, jònmoso kuru wo bè ye n fale fè
A ya n fa le fè, jònkè kuru wo ye n fale fè
han! faama yá mirila munde ma? jòn dibile tèèra
Ala biri bunya, banku la bunya-o tè
Alale i bunya faamakè denkè i kana kasi de, jara denkè i makun de jara denkè
han! jara y'a mirila munde ma? moonò tè han!
Wula ka jan Faransi wula n da masiri tè
N ye n fale ma faamakè den kè i kana kasi jandi
A ye ilele fè pilium kala wo bè n fale fè
A ye n fale fè faamakè deinkè i kana kasi de jara denkè
Ala biri bunya Ala biri bunya Ala biri bunya
han! faama y'a mirila munde ma? moonò tè han! duba jabira
A ye n fale fè jònmoso kuru a ye n fale fè
I kana kasi de, faama den tè kasila i makun jandi

the lullaby version sang by Kondé Kouyaté  on track 1
the original version (Eng and Fr translations )of Fama Denke  can be  found here

don't cry son of the Chief / son of the Lion.

5 versions of Fama Denke plus 2 more of the Kana Kassi variation:

1-Madame Kondé Kouyaté-Fama denke-berceuse
2-Nantenedie Kamissoko-Fama denke
3-El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyate - Fama Denké
4-Mamoutou Mangala Camara- Famadinke.
5-Mamady Mansare-Famadenque 
6-Ibrahima Nyas-Jata Di'Key Kana Kasi
7-Kante Manfila & Balla Kalla-Kana Kassi

Fama Denke / Kana Kassi 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nyota - Black Star & Lucky Star Musical Club

In the 60's Black Star Musical Club took taarab along a different path by taking the rhythms from the dansi groups of the era,and also added the electric guitar, bass,
and ultimately the keyboard, and replaced the older taarab instruments like the oud,
the string double bass, and the harmonium.Black Star Musical Club developed a rivalry with a group
that broke off from it called Lucky Star Musical Club, also known as Nyota Njema, which means Lucky Star in Swahili. Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, these two bands warred with each other by singing songs
about each other, but always through the employ of metaphor.They would have very rarely sung
direct insults toward each other. Taarab, the poetic form, is well-known for its use of innuendo and metaphor
and multiple layers of meaning to talk about social life, and comment on social life.

In the seventies and eighties, Black Star and Lucky Star,became famous not only in Tanga.
It went far beyond that, because they were also recorded by studios not too far away in Mombasa,
just across the border in Kenya. Their recordings were played on Radio Tanzania, and also in Kenya,
on KBC, and the popularity of Black Star and Lucky Star spread throughout what is now Tanzania.

by Kelly Askew

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mohamed Gubara

Mohamed Gubara is considered one of Sudan's finest players of the tambur,or lyre,
an instrument which has changed little for over 5000 years.He sings songs of social commentary,
political protest and love, in a voice that is completely original.
Mohamed Gubara was born into a small village in the Northern Province of Sudan in October 1947.
Music and dance are an important part of everyday life to Gubara's Shaigiyya people and he began to play the tambur at the age of ten, quickly mastering the basics of the ancient instrument.
He decided to leave his village at the age of fourteen and travelled to Atbara, the railway capital of Sudan, in the southern part of Northern Province
where he found work as a messenger. He joined a club (Al-Ahli) where he could develop his skills
on the tambur as an amateur. It was at this club where he was first encouraged to sing.
His natural way of singing showed little influence of traditional Sudanese styles and his spine
tingling high pitched delivery won him great favour with local audiences.
This local fame led to his composing the music for the first Sudanese film Hopes and Dreams.
In 1970 Gubara left Atbara for Khartoum, a perfect singer but an unknown one.
In Khartoum he joined the Armys Musical Corps where he was given a chance on the air in the Armed Forces programme aired weekly by Sudan Broadcasting Service (Radio Omdurman).

The first song to usher him into the world of fame was Umma (Mother) which narrates the deep sorrow of a loving son who has travelled far away from his mother.
Most of Gubaras songs are given to him by poets from his Shaigiyya tribe,
who also compose the melody. These poets find Gubaras voice the perfect vehicle to express their songs.
Many of the top Sudanese singers have songs written for them by poets who record their work onto cassette,often accompanying themselves on oud to suggest the melody.
The poems are then re-arranged by the singer, Gubaras songs and melodies are specially written
with the singer in mind and he does not re-arrange them, just puts his little touches to them.
Most of Gubaras songs are written by Elsir Osman, with whom the singer shares a great affinity.

H.M. Yassin
from the notes-1988

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Days and Nights...

in Port Sudan بور سودان

Musa Adem - Days and Nights
(an Ali Farka's brother from the Red Sea port ?)


'As Samaaka' Band - Inta Feenak ya Adawi


Friday, February 21, 2014

Seif Salim Saleh & Abdullah Mussa Ahmed

this rare flower (rare,for its beauty )
is sending fine scents of Indian Ocean rich cultural dialogues  and cosmopolitan Swahili  auras
from 1988  till today and on
-it can also act as a  medicine for the consequences of  any kind of (old or ) new barbarism -
surrender to its magic


Abdullah Mussa Ahmed: Ganoon
Seif Salim Saleh:  Violin and Ud
Salif Mussa: Duf
Munira Said Mohammed: Singer

ps:  more inconstant postings ahead,apologies to my friends....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kariakoo Sanaa

With 10 female and 13 male artists, Kariakoo Sanaa developed out of  the Zanzibar National Ballet in 1979. Due to cultural exchange programmes between Zanzibar and Guinea Conakry, the latter sent tutors to help establish the group. Performing a variety of traditional ngoma from around Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, Kariakoo Sanaa is also the mother ensemble of most groups of
traditional music styles in Zanzibar.

Apart from performing ngoma, they produce different Swahili plays for stage, radio and tv . Most artists in the group have extensive knowledge of different  ngoma styles, including  obscure ones like the all women ndege and bomu. They are proud to feature Mzee Kheri, Zanzibar's leading ngoma drummer, and Asha Khatib, group leader and veteran dancer and many more excellent artists.
Instruments used during their sets include zumari (a wind instrument played by circular breathing), marimba, drums, shakers and ankle bells (njuga).


Thursday, January 30, 2014

NUTA Jazz / Juwata Jazz

Founded in 1964 as NUTA Jazz,Juwata is the oldest band currently active in Tanzania  and has been one of the most prominent groups ever since.
The band was formed under the wings of the National Workers Union,
hence their original name NUTA Jazz Band, and provided the model for many of the bands to come in the seventies and eighties.
The music and dance clubs that had dominated the forties and fifties became increasingly obsolete during the sixties.
The new model, organizing bands under the wings of government or parastatal organizations,
became the dominant form in the seventies, and remains so today:
The organization owns the instruments and employs the musicians, who draw salaries like regular workers
plus some percentage of the gate collection. Today numerous bands work along this line
and include Mlimani Park, Tancut Alimasi, and Vijana Jazz.

The original name Nuta Jazz was changed to Juwata Jazz band in 1977 to mark a new beginning after a number of prominent band members,Muhiddin Maalim, Abel Balthazar, Hassani Bitchuka among them,
left the band to form Dar International and later Mlimani Park Orchestra
(Juwata is the Swahili equivalent of Nuta and stands for Jumuiya ya Wafanyakazi Tanzania).
Recently the name was changed again to mirror current political changes.
Since the mother organization changed its name to Organization of Tanzanian Trade Unions (OTTU),
the band has also been renamed and now calls itself  OTTU Jazz Band, with the adage baba ya muziki
('father of music') to reflect its standing as the oldest band in the country.

as the latest  incarnation:
Msondo Ngoma

from the glorious past to a bright present:
NUTA Jazz Special

the equally superb  Juwata >>>>

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Saida Karoli

Saida Karoli was born on the 4th of April 1976 in the Northern part of Tanzania within a small region called Bukoba. As a child, Saida lived in the small village of Rwongwe in Bukoba. Her culture did not permit girls to sing or play drums but her mother, who was also a musical figure in the village, encouraged her and taught her the essentials of music.
At the age of 20, following the death of her mother, Saida continued doing what she knew to do best - make music. Her humility, patience and good sense of humor make her a great and vibrant personality.
As a singer, composer, dancer and drummer, and within a short period of time, Saida has become a much sought after female artist all over East and Central Africa.
She has staged live shows in almost all parts of Tanzania, and has been on several successful tours in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda, Kenya and Zanzibar. Her artistic musical talent, which is filled with tradition, has captivated the diverse cultural audiences and her mellow singing voice continues to earn her a place the hearts of people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
She sings predominantly in Haya (the language of the Haya ) as well as Swahili. However, even those who do not understand this language have been touched by her unique voice and the crisp quality of her music. Her sources of inspiration are social values, the rural culture of  Tanzania and that of its neighboring countries, as well as the condition of human society.
in various sites

sweet and joyful 3!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Firmin Viry

"They ordered us to whiten our skin
and learn French posthaste,to ease the burden of French employers …"

In Maloya,the rhythms,the instruments, and the roles,are descended directly from the slavery times.
This “dance of the Blacks” always impressed the old time listeners with its unsettling blend of “melancholy,lasciviousness and the anguish of the lost homeland”.
Initially, maloya was performed within a ritual framework called servis malgas or servis kabaré.
In these ceremonies animals were sacrificed as offerings to the Malagasy or African ancestors
who were being thus honoured. The songs were used to initiate communication with the ancestors and to lead some of the participants in a state of possession.

Maloya had back then also an aspect of social regulation within the communities of sugar plantation workers. Historically performed in the family circle and the close neighbourhood,
some of the servis became with time increasingly public or semi-public.
The Maloya was sung,carried and transmitted by the majority of the poor uprooted Malagasy,
African, Indians and was also popular among the poor Whites .
Until the 1960s, maloya was also performed during festive evenings (maloya balls)
with dancing and the songs improvisations were well aimed social criticisms and commentary.
This form of emanation through the centuries of the darkness, was always forbidden, suppressed and oppressed by the French rulers of the island.
On December 25, 1975, on the waterfront of St. Pierre, at the initiative of the Southern Cultural Front, the first public concert of maloya was held.
Firmin Viry,the man who has worked relentlessly to preserve the maloya heritage,was there,with his band.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ramata Diakité

let's close this small wassulu -pop presentation with beloved ,ever missed
 and always remembered   Ramatu 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Djénéba Diakité - Gnogondeme

A  Wassoulou songbird from the 90's, Djénéba Diakité is hailing from the region of Sikasso.Her village Kanibougoulaye is close to the borders with  Côte d'Ivoire. She spent her childhood between  Wassoulou and Bamako and after school she began studying theater in Koutiala.
After her courses she became interested in music despite the will of her parents, who over time  accepted her decision  by attributing it to fate. Thus Djénéba was driven on the road to music by her husband  Madou Bah Traore.Together they  formed their group "Farafina Lolo' with the highly talented Madou Bah  as the guitarist and arranger . Equipped with a beautiful voice Djénéba was soon on the national level.
Djénéba  was one of the Malian music stars who turned out in the early 90s with the release of her first cassette "dougou dassiri ",a big success in Mali and  soon with Farafina Lolo they performed  throughout Mali and the whole sub-region.

Djénéba Diakité became known in  Abidjan  appealing to the Malian expatriate community  there but also in Burkina Faso, Niger and Benin where was known as a reference wassoulou star from Mali.European tours followed closely ..
A second cassette named Liberia  confirmed her class,but the  album was widely pirated .Still Djénéba was not discouraged and she recorded a third album that was  also  pirated before its official release....

wassoulou life soundtrack


vocals-Djénéba Diakité
guitars-Madou Bah Traoré
bass:Dramane Traoré
kamélé n'goni-Benogo
djembé-Drissa Bagayogo
backing vocals-Sata Sidibé,Fanta Doumbia

thanks to ngoni for the video

Friday, January 10, 2014

Nabintou Diakité

...was ( back in 98 )

with (Oumou's band)

Kassim Sidibé kamalengoni
Adama Dramé & Sekou Bah guitars
Abdouleye Fofana flute 
Basidi Keita djembe
Djeneba Seck, Alima Toure and cousin Oumou Sangare on chorus